Int.: Philippe Résimont (voce narrante), Costa Gavras, Claude Lelouch, Milos Forman, Thierry Frémaux, Dominique Delouche, Claude Chabrol, Géraldine Chaplin, Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Philippe Rouyer. Prod.: L’Atelier d’images – Savage Film DCP. D.: 55’. Bn e Col.
The archival images are fascinating: Truffaut and Godard hanging from the Palais des Festivals’ curtains to prevent a screening from taking place; Godard shouting his soon-to-be-famous phrase: “We’re talking about solidarity with the students and the workers and you’re speaking about travelling shots and close-ups”; Polanski responding, irritated, “Everything you say reminds me of the days I spent in Poland during the Stalinist era”… There are two opposing clans: the ideologues from Paris (Maoists or not) demanding that the Cannes Festival be stopped and the filmmakers in competition who want their films to be screened, in particular the Czechs inspired by the short-lived Prague Spring. Dominique Delouche movingly says: “Tomorrow I risk becoming famous but out of solidarity I withdraw my film from the competition. Nevertheless, I would like it if somebody watched it…”. Unfortunately for him, it was the images of the great Capernaum that the 21st edition turned into, after it was abruptly interrupted on the 18th May 1968, which were destined to last. This kaleidoscopic documentary recalls the events that led to that unprecedented act, because “May 68 was born on the steps of the Cinémathèque”. It also recalls the ‘Langlois affair’, which in February had pitted the cinema world against the Minister of Culture André Malraux. Violent demonstrations, the government’s retreat and a young Cohn-Bendit bringing the revolutionary cinephiles up to date! It is a shame that the ending devotes so little time to the consequences of the Palais revolution for the future of the cinema. For a future episode, perhaps?
Anne Dessuant, “Telerama”
23 May 2018